Friday, September 6, 2013

Princeton Professor Pulls Out of MOOC

According to a media report, Princeton Professor Mitchell Duneier, has stopped participating in the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) "Introduction to Sociology" via Coursera.

From my reading of the news item (, By Ki Mae Heussner, GAGAOM, 3 September 2013),  Professor Duneier had three concerns:
  1. MOOCs being used as an excuse for cuts in government education funding,
  2. Educational funding being diverted to MOOCs,
  3. Educational effectiveness of MOOCs.

These are reasonable concerns. However, these are not new issues. The effectiveness of on-line education has been debated for at least a decade. The effectiveness, effect on conventional education, and funding of distance education has been debated for at least 100 years.

Professor Duneier cannot have been unaware of these issues before agreeing to provide a MOOC. But I would like to hear what Professor Duneier  has to say himself about his reasons for stopping the MOOC, rather than relying on a few press quotes.

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